Today's Tidbit... Army Runs Along the Touch-Line
Football fields did not have hash marks until 1933, with the result that when players were tackled near the sidelines, the next play started at that spot. On plays starting near the sideline, offenses typically aligned in unbalanced formations and ran toward the open field.
The image from the 1899 Army-Navy game shows Army began the play pinned along the sideline (seen in the lower right corner). Army broke the tendency on this play and ran the ball up the middle.
Also, note that the image caption uses the old-fashioned term, “touch-line,” rather than sideline.
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